Few Americans dread anything more than receiving a letter from the IRS. But imagine a full field audit, with intrusive questions about your activities and spending habits, from suspicious agents convinced that you’ve violated the law. That’s essentially what political activists on the Right have been enjoying recently, courtesy the Obama administration.
Money matters — it’s a maxim of Prof. Milton Friedman that I repeat often in my columns. Since the Northern Rock bank run of 2007 — the "opening shot" of the financial crisis — the money supply, broadly measured, in the United States, Great Britain, and the Eurozone has taken a beating. Recently, in the United States, money supply growth has started to rebound, but only slightly.
The United States currently has an estimated 11 million immigrants who entered this country illegally. According to the National Research Council, the migration of these individuals into the United States costs American taxpayers $346 billion annually. Now we are starting to get a feel for the costs being absorbed by one sector — the U.S. healthcare system — to treat this population. And the cost is staggering.
A Common conservative refrain is that immigrants, once they enter the U.S., “immediately begin to depend on government welfare,” as Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama recently put it. That’s simply not true, according to a Cato Institute study by Professor Leighton Ku and lecturer Brian Bruen, both of George Washington University’s health policy department.
Europeans recognize they pay a high price for creating an increasingly dependent society. In fact, Denmark has been transfixed by the revelation of a 36-year-old single mother who collects more in benefits than many Danes earn at work, and has done so for two decades. Worried Karen Haekkerup, Minister of Social Affairs and Integration, says people “think of these benefits as their rights. The rights have just expanded and expanded.” How does this compare to the United States?
When I crossed through Check Point Charlie from West to East Berlin more than two decades ago, countless East Germans told me of their dreams of moving to America. After numerous speaking engagements in Mexico in the 1990s, I found many in the audience either had an American passport or badly wanted one. And on more recent trips to Asia, Chinese students always tell me of their hopes to study and live in the United States. What is it about America that is so appealing? Can it continue?
Despite a rough confirmation hearing, former Republican senator Chuck Hagel is likely to be confirmed as secretary of defense. Thus will end the public career of Leon Panetta, who also served as CIA director, White House chief of staff, director of the Office of Management and Budget and member of Congress.
With an Arab Fall, if not Winter, dominating the Middle East, the U.S. is under pressure to intervene even more. Unfortunately, reliance on imported oil continues to entangle America and other countries in the Middle East’s volatile politics. Washington should free North America’s abundant natural resources instead.
From our Nation’s founding, entrepreneurs, small business owners and small farmers have provided dynamic growth and innovation, creating a flourishing middle class. They have supplied cities and small towns with new products, processes and jobs. The Council on Competitiveness in a 2007 report said the United States leads all major industrial economies in the percent of the adult population engaged in entrepreneurial activity.
Over the past few decades, due diligence practices and international trade activities have undergone significant changes. For example, companies have implemented increasingly sophisticated tools to evaluate risks and opportunities associated with corporate acquisitions. At the same time, firms of all sizes have developed complex and very efficient global supply chains. But serious problems persist.
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